Community volunteers put on free Halloween party for Leigh Park families in need

A SPOOKY treat was in store for Leigh Park families as the community rallied to put on a free alternative Halloween party.

Wednesday, 30th October 2019, 11:36 am
Updated Wednesday, 30th October 2019, 5:16 pm

Freebank PO9 coordinator Michelle Smith spent a few weeks organising the event for some of the most needy families who may not be able to put on their own party, and 141 people were treated to a disco, a dance performance, face painting and food treats.

Plenty of great costumes were on display as people arrived at St Francis Church in Riders Lane, with some donated through the Freebank PO9 scheme.

Everyone who attended was given a goodie bag, as well as enjoying hot dogs, cakes and drinks kindly donated by people and businesses in the area, meaning the event was completely free to run.

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Millie-May 7, Marshall-McKenzie 11, Maila_marie 6 and Mailei-Michelle 5 with Michelle Smith. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Volunteers from the Freebank and Foodbank decorated the church hall with plenty of spooky decorations and there was music for all to enjoy.

Tattoo artist Jenny Banner spent time creating Halloween looks with face paint.

She said: ‘I love the community spirit around here, whenever someone falls on hard times everyone helps out.’

Michelle had to stick to certain numbers of guests in the church due to health and safety concerns, but has big plans for next year to hold three events in three different churches so more people can join in the fun.

Little helpers, Freya 15, Ethan 15 and Thomas 15. Picture: Habibur Rahman

The next project which the PO9 team is running will be the Big Wrap event, where donated items are given to families in need to spread some Christmas cheer and bring the community together.

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Currently, the organisers are in desperate need of presents for teenage boys and men, but they also need presents for people of all ages, including unused toiletries, toys and clothing.

Everyone in the community is invited along for the Big Wrap on Saturday, December 21, at St Francis Church in Riders Lane, Leigh Park, from 11am to help wrap gifts and help to deliver them to families.

Volunteer wrappers are encouraged to bring along any spare wrapping paper and organisers hope this year’s event will be the biggest and best yet.